SA Government issues travel alert for Madagascar

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The South African Department of Health has issued an alert of caution to its citizens travelling to Madagascar as a result of the current outbreak of plague in the country.

The department has urged South African travellers to Madagascar to avoid highly populated areas‚ and to wear surgical masks while in transit.

According to a statement issued over the weekend, there is international concern regarding infection with the bacterium after a South African basketball player‚ who was attending the Indian Ocean Club Championships‚ contracted plague while there. A coach from the Seychelles attending the tournament had died.

The basketball player‚ who has not been named‚ was successfully treated in Madagascar and has returned to South Africa. He and his team members are being followed up‚ but the department said they did not pose a risk‚ the department said.

Air Seychelles also last week announced that the airline will temporarily suspend it three-weekly service to Madagascar in an effort to prohibit the spread of the disease.